Study challenges `God gap’ in politics
A press release from the University of Florida reports on an interesting new study that contradicts the “God gap” theory in American politics – the widely accepted idea that religious, white Christians are conservatives who favor the Republican Party.
The study found that prior research defined who is religious with traits that lean toward evangelical Protestants, who tend to vote Republican. (These traits include Scripture reading and regular church attendance.)
But, according to researcher Ken Wald,“We sensed there was a style of religious attachment that is less individualistic and more focused on the social and communal aspects of people’s lives.” These Christians had a more sacramental outlook, and placed “helping others” over “avoiding sin.” Catholics and mainline Protestants, of course, and more likely to be part of the religious left.
The study, done by researchers from the University of Notre Dame, University of Cincinnati and University of Florida, says that this has political implications. According to Wald, “Having a strong communitarian view of faith is associated with voting for Democratic candidates. Because of favorable political circumstances, we’re in an age where we’re likely to see a flowering of the religious left.”